Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween at Hershey Park

Happy Halloween!  For the last two years, my friends and I have been going to Hershey Park for a little girl time, roller coasters, and chocolate.  It's been so fun that we've continued the tradition, making this trip our 3rd annual.  This year, we ended up pushing the trip into late October which meant that we were there during one of their "Hershey Park in the Dark" weekends.  Way better timing.  Lines were shorter, the air was chilly, the leaves changed colors, kids (and some parents) were dressed up, and shopping at Hershey's Chocolate World (ChoWo to the locals) had more of a purpose since Halloween is this weekend.  Candy is in season!  So in celebration of Halloween, the holiday of candy, here's a tour of the "sweetest place on earth."

Our first stop was the amusement park (Hershey Park) and second was the chocolate factory store (Hershey's Chocolate World).  ChoWo is where you're invited to stuff your face with candy, buy up all the chocolate you can carry, take a factory tour, sample chocolates, and even create your own candy bar.

Here's the entrance to the amusement park, get excited try to contain your excitement:
It was the perfect fall day to walk around and ride some rides.  The leaves where changing which made every spot in the park picture worthy.  Here's a pic of us bailing on a ride and walking out of the line...
...and a pic of someone's pumpkin carving talents...
But on to what you've been waiting for... a building full of chocolate!
Behold!  The entrance to ChoWo!  Upon entering, they have signs for chocolate tasting, sign-ups for the factory tour (which is kind of like an amusement park ride where you glide past their recreations of the factory in a little car), and ticket sales for the create-your-own candy bar experience.  This I highly recommend.  You walk back into a little "factory" and use a computer to design your bar choosing your chocolate, your mix-in ingredients, and designing your wrapper.  You get to watch your bar go down the line and come to life.  It's a fun experience and the chocolate tastes fresher and creamier than a regular Hershey's bar.  But, since we had done all this before, we navigated past the entrance to get to the real goods...discounted, fresh, Hershey's chocolate and candy.  The initial view is pretty exciting:
Move, kid 
This store is a labyrinth of candy (minus David Bowie) and sectioned off by brands so Twizzlers are all together, Reese's, Kit-Kat's, Hershey's Kisses, etc., it's all here.  They even have a fill-your-own bag station with different flavors of kisses and chocolates to choose from:
For a first-timer, the store is a little overwhelming (slash exhilarating) but as a veteran, I only stopped to snap the new and noteworthy finds for you.  Like this oversized "World's Largest Hershey's bar": 
And these "Extra Long" Twizzlers (why doesn't the usual length work?  What are you doing that you need an even longer Twizzler?)  But whatever, in case you do, here they are:
I was excited to stumble upon a seasonal item...pumpkin spice kisses!  These taste just like pumpkin and white chocolate and exceeded expectations:
pumpkin and white chocolate, keep 'em coming
And they had some caramel apple Twizzlers that I was sure I would hate but ended up loving.  They were really soft and chewy because they were fresh out of the factory.  What a difference!  The apple flavor in these by itself would have been too green apple-y and fake but combined with the caramel center it tasted just like fall. 
In fact, I regret not buying more from the Twizzler's section since the softness and chewy texture of the fresh-from-the-factory bags made a huge difference in taste.  They had every flavor imaginable, I only snapped a portion of what was there.
Ok, but the real reason to come here, the freshest tasting option at ChoWo, are the Reese's cups.  The peanut butter here is still kinda creamy which make Reese's cups taste so much better.  
light snack anyone?
I always stock up on Reese's cups and bring some back for friends when I go since the taste difference is so noticeable.  I think the Hershey's chocolate bars pretty much taste the same but the Reese's cups from the factory store taste much fresher. 

Ok, moving on to some new candy.  First are these little to-go bags of different "snack" mixes.  There were a few versions including this pretzel/chocolate/almond bag, a Reese's bag, and "snack bites" which were little bites of chocolate/almond clusters.

These are nice, portable options that give off the trail mix-y vibe so that you can pretend you're eating healthy.  But really at that point, why bother?  If you want chocolate or candy just go full hog and eat what you're really craving.  Otherwise you're just going to delay the inevitable and then you've eaten trail mix AND candy.

Next, Hershey's recently unveiled new kisses which are larger and contain "crisps" and an entire roasted hazelnut.  Sort of Hershey's answer to the Baci kisses from Europe:
crisps and a roasted hazelnut in the center
These were good but not very chocolatey.  If you're really craving chocolate then you're better off just eating a regular kiss.  The hazelnut in the center kinda takes over because there's not enough chocolate in the middle to offset it.  Still good though and worth trying.

For the last photo, I'll leave you with this shot of the glorious Hershey's Chocolate World cafe where all of your chocolate concoction ideas can come true:
that guy on the left is like "Hmph!  Where is my chocolate?"
So that's it.  The 3rd annual trip to Hershey Park and ChoWo was another smashing success.  I hope you make the trip sometime with your friends and family and that you go in the fall.  It's the perfect day to spend catching up, enjoying the beautiful fall foliage, and eating your favorite chocolate.  

If you try Hershey's new hazelnut kisses, comment on this post or tag me on Instagram @thecandyquestbog and tell me what you think.  Happy questing! 

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